Hypatia

Mathematician, Deceased Person

0350 – 0415

27

Who was Hypatia?

Hypatia was an Alexandrine Neoplatonist philosopher in Egypt who was the first well-documented woman in mathematics. As head of the Platonist school at Alexandria, she also taught philosophy and astronomy.

As a Neoplatonist philosopher, she belonged to the mathematic tradition of the Academy of Athens, as represented by Eudoxus of Cnidus; she was of the intellectual school of the 3rd century thinker Plotinus, which encouraged logic and mathematical study in place of empirical enquiry and strongly encouraged law in place of nature.

According to the only contemporary source, Hypatia was murdered by a Christian mob after being accused of exacerbating a conflict between two prominent figures in Alexandria: the governor Orestes and the Bishop of Alexandria. Kathleen Wider proposes that the murder of Hypatia marked the end of Classical antiquity, and Stephen Greenblatt observes that her murder "effectively marked the downfall of Alexandrian intellectual life". On the other hand, Maria Dzielska and Christian Wildberg note that Hellenistic philosophy continued to flourish in the 5th and 6th centuries, and perhaps until the age of Justinian.

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Born
0350
Alexandria
Also known as
  • Hipácia
  • Hipátia de Alexandria
Parents
Religion
  • Paganism
Nationality
  • Egypt
  • Greece
Profession
Died
Mar 8, 0415
Alexandria

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Hypatia." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Jul 2024. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/hypatia_of_alexandria>.

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